Thursday, December 27, 2018

Cholesterol, Explained

When was the last time you were at a dinner and someone refused to eat a certain food because it contained “high cholesterol”?

We all have cholesterol. In fact, we need it to function healthily. Here are some common questions and answers about this popular but often misunderstood substance in our bodies.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a white, fatty substance found on the walls of arteries. There are two main types: one is made by your liver, the other comes from the foods you eat.

What does it do?

Your body uses cholesterol to make sex hormones, build tissue, and produce bile.

What is “bad” cholesterol?

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, otherwise known as “bad” cholesterol, make up most of your body’s cholesterol. Too much LDL cholesterol on the walls of your arteries logically make the artery narrower and less efficient in transporting blood. This is a risk factor for more serious heart issues down the road.

What is “good” cholesterol?

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, otherwise known as “good” cholesterol absorbs excess cholesterol and delivers it back to the liver, which then excretes it from the body. In other words, good HDL helps get rid of the bad LDL.

Am I at risk of cholesterol problems?

There are several risk factors associated with cholesterol, some of which you can control, some you cannot. Let’s break it down into these two categories.

Risk factors you cannot control:
-    Family history of high cholesterol
-    Familial hypercholesterolemia
-    Age – the older you are, the more at risk you are
-    Sex – more men than women have cholesterol problems

Risk factors you can control:
-    Diet high in saturated and trans fat
-    Not enough exercise
-    Obesity
-    Smoking

Should I get my cholesterol checked?

The American Heart Association recommends anyone age 20 and above to get their cholesterol checked once every 4-6 years. If you have a familial history of high cholesterol, talk to your doctor.

Does high cholesterol affect children?

We often think of cholesterol as an “old people problem.” Risk increases with age, but children are not exempt from high cholesterol problems.

Familial hypercholesterolemia is a serious genetic disorder that can put a child at high risk for heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends testing children who have a parent or grandparent that had cardiac issues and other conditions.

What are complications from too much cholesterol?

Since excess cholesterol means a narrower artery for blood to travel through, a blockage can cause a variety of serious health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

What are symptoms of high cholesterol?

Unfortunately, high cholesterol doesn’t announce itself with visible symptoms. That’s why it’s important to get tested on a regular basis.

What do my cholesterol readings mean?

You may be concerned if you see your test results and it says you have a high level of total cholesterol. However, instead of looking at a single number, doctors now look at the bigger picture when assessing a patient’s cholesterol. Factors that affect your health include the ratio of HDL versus LDL as well as your triglyceride levels.

What foods cause high cholesterol?

The production of cholesterol is stimulated by foods that contain high amounts of saturated and trans fats. Saturated fats are found in animal products like meat and dairy.

What foods should you eat if you have high cholesterol?

People with high cholesterol levels should avoid foods high in saturated fat. Instead, they should eat foodhigh in fiber, such as grains, beans, and vegetables. They should also quit smoking, limit alcohol consumption, and be encouraged to exercise and maintain a healthy weight.

What medications are used to treat cholesterol?

There are many drugs available that can help lower your cholesterol levels. Common medications include statins like atorvastatin and simvastatin along with aspirin, ezetimibe, and bile acid sequestrants.

Since each medication has its own unique characteristics and side effects, you may react well to one and badly to another. Some medications, such as statins, are to be taken for the rest of your life. This can run up quite a bill! You can save on medications by ordering them online from a reputable international or Canadian pharmacy referral service like Rx Connected that has undergone rigorous approval procedures.

Are eggs bad for you?

In the past, eggs were demonized because they contained a lot of cholesterol. It seemed to make sense that to lower your cholesterol, you should eat less of it.

Now, we know that diet doesn’t affect cholesterol levels as much as the liver. How much cholesterol the liver makes is, in turn, affected by saturated and trans fats you eat. Eggs are not high in saturated and trans fats; therefore, most doctors say that eating an average of an egg a day should be fine for most healthy people.

The Bottom Line

High cholesterol can run in families, but if you fall into this risk category, there are many simple, everyday things you can do to lower your chance of illness. Eating well and exercising are not only good for your arteries, but your overall mental and physical health will benefit as well.

Research for this article was taken from the Center for Disease Control, the American Heart Association, Harvard Health Publishing, and the National Health Service of the UK.

This is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Seven Tips for Reducing Anxiety for Men

Anxiety can have serious adverse effects on all aspects of your life. Whether it is putting a strain on your interpersonal relationships with loved ones or making going to work a chore and a drudgery, anxiety can be a very destructive force in many ways.

Today, we are going to look at seven tips to help you reduce your anxiety and begin living a fuller life.

#1 - Exercise More

The positive effects of exercise are off the charts. Studies have shown that a regular, balanced exercise routine can result in benefits to your mood, anxiety levels, and your general outlook on life.

As with anything in life, it is essential to make sure that your exercise is balanced. There is such a thing as too much! However, if you suffer from anxiety, getting into a healthy exercise routine can help relieve some of that suffering.

#2 - Verbalize It

Sometimes as a man, it can be hard to verbalize how we are feeling. Even when dealing with severe anxiety, it can be tempting to try and “handle it” on your own. Some men think that expressing how they feel is a sign of weakness.

However, the truth is the opposite. It takes bravery to face your feelings. Getting those feelings out, instead of bottling them up, can make them more manageable.

There are many ways to approach this. However some of the best methods include talking to trusted loved ones, journaling, or consulting a trained professional. 

#3 - Try Natural Remedies

Nature is full of solutions to the problems that the modern man faces. You must know where to look.

There are some who posit that inflammation in the body causes much of the anxiety people are forced to deal with today. This inflammation prevents the body from operating at peak efficiency which can lead to a host of problems including, potentially, anxiety.

A little research will show that there is a plethora of natural anti-inflammatory treatments and supplements available.  Some of those include Omega 3 + DHA, Vitamin D3, Curcumin (aka turmeric), and organic CBD salve.

CBD oil has shown promise and potential as a natural anti-inflammatory agent.

#4 - Get Enough Sleep

The bed is your friend. Study after study has shown that most humans require a solid 7-9 hours of sleep per night. When your body does not get the amount of sleep that it needs, it compromises your health in a lot of different ways. A lack of sleep can also create stress and anxiety.

Most of the time, people do not sleep 7-9 hours per night because they have too much going on.
However, the key here is realizing that your health and well-being must take precedence. If you are serious about wanting to reduce your anxiety levels, making sure you prioritize sleep is essential.

#5 - Eat Clean

There is an old saying, “You are what you eat.” And while it may seem a bit cliché, there is still a ring of truth to this ancient wisdom. What we put inside our body in the form of food is the fuel that our bodies use to keep us going.

Look at your overall diet. What are you eating? What are the fallback foods that might be less than good for you?

If food is your fuel, make sure that you are giving your body the best ammunition available. Anxiety can flourish when our bodies are not operating at peak potential. If you are not feeding your body quality fuel, you won’t be able to produce at that higher level, and as a result, anxiety has a way better shot at controlling your life.

#6 - Practice a Positive Mindset

Our thoughts are far more powerful than we give them credit for. Negative thoughts can lead to destructive habits and the proliferation of anxiety.

We are not talking about some vague “good vibes” type of thing. Instead, we are talking about real, solid mindset. What do you think about more than anything else? What do you dwell on? Are you being grateful and looking on the bright side?

Anxiety can’t hang around for long if you are continually bringing your mind back to positive thoughts.

#7 - Learn to Say “No.”

Sometimes anxiety finds its root in too many “good things.” If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed with all the millions of things you must accomplish, chances are your anxiety is stemming from that amount of pressure you are putting on yourself.

We must fulfill our responsibilities. However, we do have the power to say “no.” There are seasons of life where we can’t handle as much as maybe we would like to. Realize that it’s ok and permit yourself to say “no” when you need to.

This is a guest blog entry.

Friday, December 21, 2018

What You Need to Know about Dental Health in the UK

The UK population may behave differently to America when it comes to Dental Health. For those looking to get clued up on the latest facts, figures, and statistics, this article comprises everything you need to know about dental health in the UK, and the habits citizens have when it comes to their teeth. The UK’s NHS system should, in theory, enable the UK to have better access to dental care. Knowing how you measure up to the rest of the world is a great way to compare how well you look after your teeth and understand the importance and effects of oral care. Therefore, these top facts about dental health in the UK have been collected to encourage you to maintain a good oral hygiene routine.

1. 1 in 3 UK adults have tooth decay

Firstly, the fact that over a third of adults have tooth decay is a revealing statistic as it shows how well the UK population are looking after their teeth as they age. The fact that over 1 in 3 adults have tooth decay shows that people are not caring for their teeth correctly.  Tooth decay is caused by plaque causing cavities in the teeth; plaque can be formed due to brushing your teeth incorrectly or eating sugary foods. It can also cause nasty symptoms such as pain, inflammation and even bad breath. There may be many reasons that people are not looking after their teeth as well as possible such as a lack of education about dental health, misinformation or time constraints make it difficult to establish a routine.

To avoid tooth decay, you should brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, reducing the amount of plaque-causing bacteria which can remain on your teeth after eating. You should also floss at least once a day to stop plaque forming in the narrow gaps between your teeth. Toothbrushes can only reach about 65% of your teeth’s surfaces. Therefore, it is vital that you floss to reduce the chances of tooth decay and cavities. If you are particularly prone to plaque and decay, which can be genetic, then investing in a dentist recommended mouthwash may be able to protect your teeth throughout the day whilst also freshening your breath. However, you must ensure that you do not use mouthwash for at least half an hour after you brush your teeth. This can wash off the fluoride from your teeth and leave them exposed to bacteria.

2. 27% of the population only book dental check-ups when necessary

A poll researching why people avoided the dentist found that 42% of people that didn’t go to the dentist were scared of pain. However, most procedures are undertaken with local anesthetic and so are completely pain-free. Visiting the dentist with your child early in their life can help them to be less scared of the dentist as they become an adult. An additional 21% avoid the dentist because they worry that they will need further treatment. However, many conditions can be prevented if they are found by your dentist early, lessening the probability of major treatment.

Many people believe that you should only visit the dentist if you are in pain or see a change in your teeth such as staining. However, a lot of diseases and even cavities can be undetectable in their early stages. Regardless of whether you are in pain, you should visit the dentist at least once a year, and even twice a year on their suggestion. Routine dental check-ups can help prevent major diseases as professionals can find problems that you may not notice. Dental practices have the right equipment to check early warning symptoms. They can also advise you on your personal oral care routine, such as the best way to floss.

It is necessary for your practice to invest in reliable dental supplies from knowledgeable companies. From filling materials to ultrasonic baths, the relationship between the practice and supplier is important to fulfill their patient’s needs and enable dental professionals to perform their work to the best of their ability. To do this, dental suppliers like Kent Express provide a friendly and collaborative service that is able to provide practices with the best equipment for their needs, staying in communication with these for the duration of their relationship. For instance, their Ulticlean Ultrasonic Bath is state of the art and has a 4-litre capacity, showing how dental suppliers like these can help to provide you with both the best of technology and dental care.

3. People who consume fizzy drinks have 62% more tooth decay

On average, people that consume 3 plus glasses of fizzy drinks per day have 62% more tooth decay, including fillings and tooth loss. This is because the sugar in fizzy drinks is one of the largest reasons for tooth decay- with each sip you take, the sugar can affect your teeth for 20 minutes afterward. Therefore, drinking a lot of fizzy drinks means that your teeth are being constantly attacked. This can lead to a build-up of plaque which can eventually cause cavities that need professional work. However, fizzy drinks are particularly bad for you as they are also highly acidic. This acidity erodes the enamel of your teeth and exposes the softer and more sensitive dentin underneath. Unfortunately, enamel does not grow back, and so the effects of fizzy drinks are for life.

To avoid the problems of fizzy drinks, you should cut your consumption as much as possible. When you do drink fizzy drinks, you should drink them through a straw as this stops the liquid from being in contact with your teeth for such a long period of time. Additionally, you should also wash your mouth out with water after the drink as this neutralizes the acidity of the drink. This lessens the chance of weakening your enamel.

4. Only half of the UK are happy with their teeth

Next to the poor statistics about appointment attendance, only half of the UK are happy with their teeth. This has led to a surge in cosmetic procedures to improve the appearance of people’s teeth. From the 1980s and the start of advertisements focused on pearly whites, there has been more interest in how our teeth look rather than how healthy they are. Our lifestyles could also be a cause for our teeth looking less than perfect. Substances such as coffee, wine, and even orange juice can cause staining to our teeth. While this does not damage them, it can give teeth a yellow or brown appearance. This has led to an increase in cosmetic braces and whitening procedures. In fact, the teeth whitening is becoming increasingly popular. In the US, although their market is set to grow, as is the UK oral health market. The oral health market is a good indicator of how happy we are with our teeth as it includes products such as whitening toothpaste and whitening strips. This shows that there is an increase in dental practices in both the USA and the UK.

5. People with no natural teeth have decreased

However, there are facts which bring good news too. Although many adults have teeth removed, the percentage of people with no natural teeth has decreased. While 28% of people had no natural teeth in 1978, in 2009 only 6% of respondents were edentate. These averages show a change in our dental care in general, showing that fewer people have major tooth problems such as tooth decay. This could be through a variety of reasons such as more accessible education about dental care enabling more people to have a good oral care routine. Although we now consume higher amounts of sugar and fizzy drinks, the Faculty of Dental Health found that ‘the oral health of the population, both children’s dental decay experience and the decline [in] adult tooth loss, has improved steadily and substantially.’

6. There are 35,000 dental practitioners in the UK

There are currently around 35,000 dental practitioners working in the UK, compared to 14,000 in 1970. This growth in numbers is in direct correlation with an increase in good dental health care and more regular visits to the dentist. In the 1970s, only 44% of people with at least one natural tooth visited the dentist, compared to 61% in the 2010s. An increase in dentists is therefore incredibly positive as it ensures that more people can have access to dental health services.

7. Only 56% of children visit the dentist before their 3rd birthday

Children’s dental health is, in some ways, much more complex. Although Americans are known for visiting the dentist earlier, the statistics are not much different, with 34% not visiting the dentist in their first two years. Visiting the dentist early, before the age of 3, is important to help children get used to dental practices. By doing so, children will be less worried about the dentist as they get older. If they are worried about going to the dentist, there are many methods that you can try to soothe their fears such as making it seem like a game. Getting advice from practitioners is also vital as early as possible as this will help you to look after your child’s teeth to the best of your knowledge as they get older. Going to the dentist will enable you to get tailored advice to your child’s individual needs. It will also help you to learn the expectations as your child gets older so that you can notice immediately if there is a change or if something is wrong.

Although many adults believe that your child’s milk teeth are not important, this is completely untrue. In fact, the health of their milk teeth can have a great impact on the teeth growing under them. Due to this, it is vital that you take your child to visit the dentist at an early age to help prevent lasting problems in the future.

8. The number of children with plaque has decreased

However, the number of children with plaque has decreased by 10% in 10 years. The reasons for this could include better education about oral care routines, a decrease in sugar in snacks for children and visiting the dentist regularly. This could also be in correlation with the cosmetic dentistry trends, such as orthodontic treatments such as having braces, as this shows an increase in people focusing on their teeth and their care.

However, even though the number of children with plaque has decreased significantly, there were 45,000 hospital visits for children aged 0-19 in 2016/17. This was the largest reason for admission between the ages of 5 and 9. Therefore, children’s dental education still has many improvements to be made, with over half of 8-year-olds having tooth decay. Although there are healthy drinks and snacks available, food advertising sometimes label unhealthy drinks as healthy, such as Ribena and other fruit juices that are high in sugar. This can lead to parents and children making the wrong choices for their dental hygiene. However, one-third of children are worried about smiling due to the condition of their teeth. This proves that children’s oral health should be handled more seriously from a younger age.

Although it may sound as if dental health in the UK is not positive, when compared with results from the 1970s and before, there is a definite correlation between improved dental care and modernity. Through the better resources and education that we have in the 21st century, the UK’s dental health has improved rapidly. However, as seen from the statistics, there are still many ways that our oral care needs to improve, whether you live in the UK or USA. From using mouthwash to visiting the dentist regularly, by making one change to your oral health, you will be able to help improve the statistics and continue the growth in dental care awareness. This will be for the benefit of your dental health and overall health, too, so is certainly a good investment of your time.

This is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

How to Reduce Dental Anxiety?

It is estimated that 15% of people have dental anxiety. The good news is that you can take steps to overcome this anxiety and get your teeth the care they need.

Find The Right Dentist

Most dentists will be sympathetic of your anxiety but that doesn’t mean to say they all are. You need to find a practice that gives you the highest possible level of service, such as this Heatherton dentist.

This will ensure that you feel comfortable when you finally open your mouth for your checkup.

It’s important to talk to as many of your friends as possible to find a dentist you will feel comfortable with. You should also talk to the dentist before you make an appointment. This will do more than help to alleviate your fears; it will also ensure the dentist is aware of the issue and can help you through your appointment.

Tell Friends

Getting the courage to go to the dentist by yourself is hard if you already have a dental phobia. That’s why you need to share your fears with a close friend or two. They will be able to accompany you and even hold your hand in the chair if necessary.


Before you visit the dentist it’s a good idea to learn some breathing exercises. This can be as simple as breathing in slowly, holding for several seconds and then slowly letting it back out.

By focusing on the breathing you will be distracted from the procedures the dentist is doing.

Test Run

You may find it beneficial to book an appointment and visit without actually having a checkup.

Simply visiting the dentist and talking to them can help you to be less nervous on the next visit. Of course you’ll need to speak to your dentist to confirm this is acceptable; you may need to pay for an appointment that you don’t really use.

Keep Stress Levels Low

When you make your appointment consider what time of day will be the least stressful for you. You don’t want or need the pressure of having to go somewhere else afterwards.

It is also important to give yourself plenty of time to get to your appointment. Although sitting in the waiting room can make you feel anxious this is not as bad as the feelings of anxiety you’ll experience when you realize that you’re running late.

To combat the waiting room anxiety you should consider taking a music player or even a good book. This will help to keep your mind occupied until your appointment.

Create Hand Signals

It is important to have some simple hand signals that you can use to tell your dentist that you’re okay or that they need to stop. Ideally you should devise this before you visit the dentist but you may prefer to discuss it with them.

These signals will help you to feel in control during your appointment which can alleviate much of your dental anxiety.

Providing you take it one step at a time it is possible to overcome your fear for good.

This is a guest blog entry.

Monday, December 17, 2018

The Top 5 Pieces of Advice for Men Living with Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction is a very common condition in men which prevents them from having or maintaining erections. The major causes of ED are physical conditions including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even sleep disorders. Medication taken for health conditions can also result in erectile dysfunction. In this article, you will discover our top 5 pieces of advice for men living with ED.

See a Doctor

Erectile dysfunction is a very common occurrence among men. 42 percent of men over the age of 50 suffer from erectile dysfunction. While this percentage is high, what is shocking is that most men with this condition do not seek medical advice.

More often than not, a doctor can diagnose erectile dysfunction simply by taking a patient’s history and then completing a targeted physical exam. While there are countless drugs advertised on the internet for ‘curing’ erectile dysfunction, seeing a doctor remains the best option for treating ED.

Have Patience with Drugs

While there are numerous treatment methods for erectile dysfunction, drugs are prescribed by doctors more than others. If you get a prescription drug to treat erectile dysfunction, it means that the drug has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and works as stated.

Remember that stress and anxiety make symptoms of erectile dysfunction worse. So, if you are taking medications for ED, it is best to give the drug time to work. These drugs work, but erections don’t always happen on command.

A Healthy Lifestyle Can Change a Lot

Certain activities or lack of activity can have an impact on ED, so before trying medications or natural remedies for ED, a man could consider making some lifestyle changes.

  • Exercise Regularly: Exercising is one of the most active ways of treating health conditions. Regular exercise improves blood pressure and blood flow which are important factors for erections. According to studies, men who walked for 30 minutes daily were 41 percent less likely to have erectile dysfunction.
  • Quit Smoking: Men who are living with ED are advised to quit smoking which is one major cause of erectile dysfunction. Over a short period of time, the nicotine in the cigarette causes the blood vessels to constrict which is necessary for getting an erection. In the long-term, nicotine contributes to hardening of the arteries that can cause erectile dysfunction.
  • Reduce Your Alcohol Intake or Stop: Alcohol is a depressant, not an aphrodisiac or a libido enhancer. Excessive consumption can interfere with the ability to achieve an erection at any age, and even occasional drinking can make erectile dysfunction worse in older men.
  • Reducing Stress: A man can have issues with sexual performance if he is overly stressed. Stress can come from a variety of circumstances including work, finances, and relationship troubles. Finding ways to cope with these issues can help reduce stress and may improve ED.
  • Stick to a Healthy Diet: Eating certain foods and avoiding others can help reduce or treat erectile dysfunction. According to the Massachusetts Male Aging Study, men whose diet contained plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and fish — with little red meat and processed grains — were less likely to experience erectile dysfunction.

Your Partner Can Be the Game Changer

It is important for the partner of a man with erectile dysfunction to talk about the problem with him. The care and concern of a partner is often the reason a man seeks medical advice and counseling.

Having a conversation with your partner should be the very first step to take if you begin showing symptoms of ED. Your partner should be aware of the situation –most relationships have ended because of a lack of communication about such conditions. Start with your own feelings about the situation, and what can be done.

Partners can give valuable support throughout the treatment process. With a good understanding of the problem and how the treatment should work, couples can work together to bring about a positive result for their relationship.

Erectile dysfunction: A possible warning sign of serious disease

Erectile dysfunction is a major cause for worry, however, men should know that ED is barely a warning sign for an even more serious condition. According to Dr. Timothy Boone, the chairman of the department of urology at the Methodist Hospital in Houston most men do not realize that ED is a warning sign of potential cardiovascular disease.

People with diabetes are at greater risk of developing atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. The condition is caused by a buildup of plaque on the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrition to the heart. This plaque can restrict blood flow and poor blood flow is the number one cause of ED.

The levels of sugar in the blood has a direct effect on the body’s production of Nitrous Oxide (Nitrous oxide is responsible for maintaining an erection, it keeps the penis firm). This means that the level of nitrous oxide will drop if blood sugar levels are not well managed.

According to Dr. Boone’s statistics, nearly 80 percent of men living with diabetes develop ED, compared to nearly 25 percent of those who do not have the disease. Normally, erectile dysfunction occurs in men over age 65, but it tends to occur on average 10 to 15 years earlier for men with diabetes. Erectile dysfunction affects more than 300 million men worldwide between the ages of 40 and 70.

In the past, people believed that 90 percent of erectile dysfunction cases psychological and 10 percent physical, however, those figures are reversed. So, if one shows symptoms of ED, you can try erectile dysfunction tablets on special occasions, but it is best to run go for tests to decipher the actual cause of erectile dysfunction. Addressing the cause of ED will not only increase your chances of reversing the effects of ED but ensure you live a healthy life.

This is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

4 Ailments You Probably Haven't Heard of (From Scalp Psoriasis to Wolman Disease)

If you think there are more – and worse – diseases threatening humankind today, you are not mistaken. Doctors and researchers uncover new illnesses and potential health issues every day. They also work hard in finding new and better solutions for these diseases as well as existing, known ones.

Some ailments are not discussed as frequently as the others, even though they are quite common.
That is why in this article, we are going to take a look at four ailments you probably haven’t heard of.


Psoriasis is a form of inflammation that affects the skin. It is not contagious, but it can still cause discomfort; it can develop into a more serious health issue too. You can spot symptoms of psoriasis from the itchy and elevated skin the ailment produces.

Psoriasis is also a common cause for dry scalp. Dry scalp and other scalp issues caused by psoriasis can be treated with a specialized shampoo and regular treatments. While Psoriasis is an ailment that can be cured easily, it is considered a chronic skin disease and must be taken seriously.

Chagas Disease

Chagas disease is an illness that doesn’t get enough coverage today, even though it is considered very serious. In 2008, more than 10,000 people died of Chagas disease, and millions have been infected so far. There are even more than 200,000 US residents with this disease.

Chagas is a disease carried by kissing bugs that are now common in North America. Chagas is the name of the doctor that uncovered this disease over a century ago. Swelling and prolonged fever are the symptoms of this ailment.

Wolman Disease

Wolman disease has similar symptoms to Chagas, and the two often lead to heart problems as well as other more serious symptoms. In the case of Wolman disease, the problem lies in the absence of certain enzymes needed to break down fats in the body.

Wolman disease, when left untreated, can cause severe vomiting and swelling – especially around the stomach.

Brainerd Diarrhea

Brainerd diarrhea is a severe type of diarrhea that could last for up to a year. Those with Brainerd diarrhea can have more than 20 episodes of diarrhea a day, making Brainerd a serious health issue that can be incapacitating.

The name itself is taken from the name of a town in Minnesota where this illness was first discovered. Many cases have been reported, with the most recent ones being recorded in 2018.

These ailments may be unpopular, but they are very serious and require special handling. Now that you know about them and how to spot their symptoms, you can prepare for them better.

This is a guest blog entry.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Hemp Seed Oil Vs CBD Oil: Understanding the Difference

Many people get CBD oil and hemp seed oil confused and it is very easy to do so. Both oils come from the same plant but are made from different components within the plant, therefore, they have a different effect. Two of the most popular natural oils - CBD oil and hemp seed oil - are often used to mean the same thing, although they are not. Each of them is unique in their own way and can be consumed in different ways. If you are confused between the two, read on to discover what each oil is and what its uses are.

What Is Hemp Seed Oil?

One of the biggest differences between CBD oil and hemp seed oil is where it comes from. A hemp plant is a form of cannabis and is grown usually for industrial purposes. These kinds of plants often contain a low level of the two commonly known cannabinoids, which are THC and CBD. THC is the cannabinoid that is known to many as the chemical that gets you “high”. Hemp seed oil is extracted from a hemp plant by squeezing out the seeds produced by the plant. This technique of deriving oil is often used with many other well-known oils such as coconut or olive oil. The hemp seed oil does not contain any THC, so if you see a product under the name hemp seed oil that does contain THC, it is branded wrong. Always be careful about this when looking for hemp seed oil.

What Is Hemp Seed Oil Used For?

Hemp seed oil can be mixed in with many foods to give various health benefits. As hemp seed oil contains a lot of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, it can be used as an alternative to fish products, which is great for vegetarians. It is also used in many products that you may not have been aware of. Hemp seed oil can be found in many soaps, shampoos, and other cosmetic products.

What Is CBD Oil?

CBD (cannabidiol) is an oil that contains a large concentration of CBD. This is extracted differently compared to hemp seed oil and is from hemp plants that are cultivated especially to contain a high amount of CBD. This means THC levels will be minimal, having no effects on the user taking the CBD oil. CBD oil should not give you the feeling of being “high” but it does have many health benefits and is commonly used for treating anxiety.

What Is CBD Oil Used For?

CBD oil comes from a hemp plant, and although it doesn’t have the same effects as hemp seed oil, it does contain many of the same vitamins and fatty acids. This means it can be added to many foods to help with overall health. Both oils are known to have a nutty flavor due to the hemp plant. CBD oil has been used in various studies to show its effectiveness for a range of health conditions. It helps with anxiety and can alleviate the symptoms associated with this condition. It can also reduce pain. For those with chronic pain or suffering from cancer, CBD oil may be used as natural pain relief.

Many people get these two oils confused and may even be attempting to sell one oil as the other. If you are looking for hemp seed oil to improve your diet and cooking, ensure it does not contain THC. If it does, it is not true hemp seed oil. CBD oil should only contain a trace amount of THC, not enough to have any effect, and can be used to treat anxiety and other conditions.

This  is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

What To Look For In A Surgeon So You’ll Have A Successful Surgery

Surgery is not a situation to be taken lightly. No matter what type of surgery you are having, it is best to know that surgery is the last option left. If there is nothing to be done but to proceed with the surgery, take time to learn about the procedure and choose the best the hospital or clinic, and the surgeon who will conduct the operation.

For instance, if you are planning to have a hair transplant surgery or a cosmetic surgery,  Vera Clinic has expertise in these areas. It has been running for 14 years, has an applauding reputation, and has a team of experienced surgeons.

If you want to have the best result of your surgery, choose the best surgeon. Here are some tips to help you select the best one:

1. Must be board certified and state licensed.

The first thing you need to consider is the professional background of the surgeon. Depending on what state or country you are in, a list of physicians is just a click away. Look for verified sites that post a list of licensed physicians in your country like the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).

Board eligible is different from board certified. The former means that the doctor has not yet passed the board certification test although he finished the appropriate residency while the latter implies that he has passed the exam after undergoing training in a specialty. Confirm if the physician is licensed in your state by checking the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB).

In the plastic surgery area, there are some people who do not have the proper qualifications to be plastic surgeons; therefore it is essential to check their license and certification that they have finished a formal education in plastic surgery.

2. Must not have been previously reprimanded.

You should also check if the surgeon’s previous reprimand records and why such actions are imposed.

If reasons for disciplinary board actions are due to malpractice or grave problems, cross his/her name out of the list. You can access this paid information through FSMB since it has links to state websites. It is better to pay for such information than risk your life to physicians with malpractice history.

3. Must have an outstanding outcomes based ratings.

Nowadays, sites such as Medicare are launching a rating system to score the actual outcomes of doctors who have performed surgeries such as heart bypass outcome. But the disadvantage is, if the surgeon doesn’t have Medicare, he/she is not included in their list.

Some sites like ProPublica and Consumers’ Checkbook provide ratings of doctors based on the number of procedures conducted and its complication rates. You have to find the right website that caters to your state.

It is vital that you know how many operations your surgeon has conducted and how successful they are to help you have the confidence to make him/her as your surgeon.

4. Must be highly recommended.

A doctor with a pleasing personality is good, but when choosing a surgeon, skills are more important. You can ask around and evaluate his/her skills through the recommendations of former patients. Don’t hesitate to ask your friends, family and even neighbors who have had similar surgery you are to undergo. Inquire about their surgeons and take note if they recommend the surgeon or not.

It is also important to ask the outcome of the surgery whether they are pleased or not and the reasons for such. Also, know the preparedness of the doctor and the facility to conduct the operation.

If you are still unsatisfied and still needs more recommendations, find a support group that shares the same condition as yours. Be wary of the negative opinions or unsatisfied reactions from the outcome of their surgery. If complaints are legitimate, take the doctor’s name out of your consideration.

5. Must also be recommended by their colleagues.

If you want to know the real scoop on your preferred doctors, ask their colleagues, especially the nurses. Nurses and fellow doctors can identify who is best and worst in their workplace.

Nurses who have been assisting in the operating rooms profoundly know who makes successful operations and who commits a lot of mistakes.

Elicit information from them by asking questions like who would they send their ailing family or loved ones to for surgery. If they answer directly and point out who they will choose to go to, then you have your answer. But if they merely say that this doctor is kind, you must know to read between the lines.

However, colleagues will not directly point out who is worst from the rest so you must be attentive to their tone of voice when talking about a doctor.


Being wary is a must when it comes to taking risks about your health and life. So it is essential to know the things mentioned before you make a consultation with your surgeon. Clear your mind of worries before making a final preference of your surgeon.

This is a guest blog entry.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

7 Health Benefits of Cannabidiol

The medical use of cannabidiol (CBD) preparations like the Every Day Optimal 2000mg CBD Tincture continues to gain more and more proponents. Contributing to the rise in popularity of CBD use are studies and research that confirm its viability in the treatment and management several medical and neuropsychological conditions. It is hard to deny, however, that the primary reason for CBDs recent popularity is that this cannabinoid is among the primary considerations in the discussion of marijuana legalization.

Cannabidiol is one of the approximately 100 chemical components of the cannabis plant. The most popular of these components is easily the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) because of its psychoactive effects. While marijuana or cannabis sativa does have CBD, a batch of it also contains some 5 to 30 percent of THC, which are the levels that give you a high. Another member of the cannabis family, the hemp or cannabis indica has high CBD content but negligible THC traces. Hemp CBD, therefore, will not make you high or cause you to fail a drug test, which is why it is nearly legal in all 50 states. While THC also has medicinal use, CBD is a better option for those who want to enjoy the medical benefits of cannabis without the high and hazy effects of THC. The following are some of the health benefits of using cannabidiol.

1. Stress and Anxiety Management

The Journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics published a study in 2015 that shows the effectiveness of CBD for the treatment and management of several anxiety disorders. These disorders include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). CBD works by binding with neurotransmitters, which in turn activate receptors, including the endocannabinoid receptors that are responsible for emotional behavior and fear responses to stressors.

The CBD stimulates these receptors to produce an anxiolytic or calming effect in response to the stressors that trigger multiple anxiety disorders. The 2015 study shows that in some cases, CBD is effective enough in counteracting fear responses. The same study likewise suggests that CBD administration may help protect you from the harmful effects of chronic stress. Users who attest to the effectiveness of CBD as an anxiolytic recommend wax vaporizer pens with CBD oil for faster and more convenient form of self-administration.

2. Pain Alleviation

Apart from affecting the endocannabinoid receptors to trigger anxiolytic effects, these receptors also impact the body’s physiological response and tolerance for pain. CBD helps in alleviating pain by inhibiting the body’s natural response to it. Several studies on animal models show that CBD shows a significant reduction in pain response in rats.

In human models, CBD has shown effectiveness in alleviating various forms of pain including migraine, back pain, muscle pain, neuropathic pain and pain associated with cancer. In combination with THC, CBD also show promise as treatment for pain in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis.

3. Chemotherapy Discomfort Mitigation


Even as CBD works well in helping make cancer pain tolerable, it also helps make the side effects of chemotherapy treatments bearable. Chemotherapy side effects, which include nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps, also show decrease in their intensity and duration with CBD treatment. As with pain alleviation treatment, the efficacy of CBD for mitigating the effects of chemotherapy is more potent in combination with THC. It is important to keep in mind, however, that more studies are needed to fully assess the safety of CBD in relation to cancer pain and chemotherapy side effect mitigation treatments.

4. Neuroprotective Properties

Still in relation to the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the 2015 study cited several other studies showing CBD’s neuroprotective properties. Among the other effects of CBDs on the ECS include its ability to reduce inflammatory response in the brain that is typical in neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis. While clinical studies on CBD’s neuroprotective properties are still underway, initial results from the studies that investigate its viability in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders show tremendous promise. Among these disorders are Alzheimer’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

5. Sleep Pattern Correction

Another popular belief is that using marijuana helps patients who are suffering from insomnia. Again, this is only partly true. Studies point to CBD and its anxiolytic properties as one of the main factors that make marijuana an effective sleep aid. Since stress is behind most cases of insomnia, the calming and negating effects of CBD on various types of stressors can help those suffering from insomnia achieve better sleep quality. During daytime hours, studies show that CBD enhances focus and wakefulness. Even with these benefits, this same study also gives evidence that this cannabinoid does not interrupt healthy sleep-wake patterns.

The catch is that the THC component of marijuana, although having intoxicating effects, can actually cause or worsen existing anxiety and paranoia, which in turn can aggravate insomnia. THC likewise, decreases wakefulness during the daytime hours and thus disrupt normal sleep-wake patterns. These findings suggest that hemp derived CBD is a better choice for sleep pattern correction rather than marijuana.

6. Heart and Circulatory Health

A study has linked CBD as a major contributing factor in helping alleviate the symptoms of high blood pressure, which is a condition that can lead to stroke and various heart problems. The study shows that CBD has a relaxing effect that effectively reduces resting heart rates in subjects. The subjects were then asked to undergo stress test to increase their blood pressure. Despite the stress tests, the blood pressure of the subjects only showed a slight increase. The result of this particular study is indicative of the ability of CBD to alleviate hypertension and improve heart health. In a separate study on animal subjects, CBD was demonstrated to have antioxidizing properties that help prevent the onset of heart disease. While this finding is promising, further studies are needed to confirm the viability of CBD in treating and preventing heart and circulatory problems.

7. Other Health Benefits

Proponents and users of CBD oil and other derivatives attest to its effectiveness in curing or at least managing a variety of health conditions. These conditions include lack of appetite, diabetes, tumor growth, substance abuse and schizophrenia.

Even without the widespread discussion on marijuana legalization, CBDs can stand on its own merit when it comes to its contribution to the field of medicine. While it is a good idea to remain guarded, you can allow yourself to enjoy some of the benefits that long-time users and proponents have already proven for themselves.

This is a guest blog entry.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

How to Eat Healthy while Traveling

The holidays are here already! A lot of people are planning to explore new places, go sightseeing, travel and soak up the vibes of Christmas and New Year festivities.

The relaxed vibes of Christmas makes it so easy to indulge in one too many snacks and Christmas treats.

And it's even worse for those traveling!

Which is why we came up with these awesome proactive tips on how to eat healthy while traveling this Christmas.

1. Eat a Hearty Breakfast
t's no news that breakfast is the most important meal for the day. For holiday  travelers, breakfast becomes even more important because of the unpredictability of holiday flights.
This means breakfast may be the only meal holiday travelers have control over. These breakfast tips are just what you need this season:
  • Load your Breakfast with Fiber - fiber has complex carbohydrates that are hard to digest. This characteristic makes  fiber rich foods the number one option for controlling hunger, and of course curbing the tendency to binge on sugary foods.
Fiber options for breakfast include: oats, maize and other grain cereal, and of course green vegetables.
  • Don't forget to Add Protein - protein rich breakfasts are just as filling as fiber rich foods. They stave off hunger and of course provide the necessary amino acids to replenish worn out cells. Mix fiber foods with wholesome protein options like meat, fish, eggs and dairy. Vegans can opt for wholesome vegan options like soy, nuts and vegetables.
2. Travel with Home Made Snacks - Home made snacks are less in salt, sugar and fat than their fast food counterparts. With the rise in sales of happy hour fast foods this festive season, home made snacks make it less likely for you to fall for the processed snacks sold in most fast foods and restaurants.

Some snack options include; granola bars, dried fruits, fruit jerky, meat jerky, roasted nuts and seeds, chips, yogurt, fresh fruit, fruit juices, cheese and salad.

3. Eat Frequent Small Portions - it's no news that a cardinal law of healthy eating is to spread out meals into 5-6 portions a day. Eating frequent small portions controls hunger, stabilizes blood glucose levels, and reduces the urge to binge on sugary and over processed foods.

To space out your meals do these:
  • The first portion is breakfast which is typically the largest portion for the day. The ideal breakfast is packed with fiber and protein for satiety, digestibility and nutrition.
  • The second portion is a light snack which ideally includes; yoghurt, nuts, fruits or vegetable salads.
  • The third portion is a carbohydrate lunch to fuel you through a busy day.
  • The fourth portion is a light snack of dairy/vegan substitutes, vegetables and fruit snacks.
  • The fifth portion is dinner with a large protein: carbohydrate ratio.
4. Plan your Meals

Planning meals ahead of time saves you money and reduces the possibility of binging on unwholesome roadside foods when you travel.

A food journal may just be what you need to cut down on those excess calories, save money and prevent food poisoning.

5. Stay Hydrated

Water is life. Everyone knows that. But how many adults drink the recommended 2-2.5 liters a day?

Water maintains the internal environment of the various body systems.

This festive season, it's pretty easy to splurge on the numerous drinks available; whisky, soda, beer, eggnog, ice cream, yogurt and forget the most important liquid.

Here are some tips to help you stay hydrated this season:
  • Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning.
  • Drink a glass of water with every meal.
  • Drink generous amount of water if  you spend most times outdoors.
6.  Be Mindful of Food Allergens - as you travel far from home, be cautious of food allergens. Food allergens differ from person to person; lactose, peanuts, gluten, chocolate, eggs, the list is endless.
Simple tips like; crosschecking food items for food allergens, buying mostly organically grown foods and eating in good restaurants go a long way in preventing food allergens.

7.  Think Quality not Quantity - if you have to eat out, eat in quality restaurants known in that area for the type of food sold. If you are traveling on a budget it's quite typical to eat at restaurants that sell large meals for cheaper prices, for example most fast foods.

Don't fall for this trap. Fast food meals are loaded in sugar, salt and oil and have little nutritional value. These foods are quick to prepare, require less food ingredients with nutritional value, loaded with artificial flavors and sugar to make them tasty and therefore cost less than food with nutritional value.

8.  Eat Food while it's Hot - eat food while it's piping hot.  Hot foods contain less toxins and bacteria than cold ones. Be sure to preheat canned foods before eating.
Also remember to thoroughly heat leftovers before eating. When eating at restaurants request to have your meals heated and served piping hot.

9.  Think Fresh

A quick way to make healthy food choices is to eat foods while fresh. Fresh foods are rich in water and necessary nutrients required for your body.

Also, fresh foods aren't contaminated by bacteria, toxins and spores found in stale, spoiled and preserved foods. A quick way to eat fresh foods is to do your grocery yourself and prepare your meals yourself. 

10.  Don't be Afraid to Reject Foods you aren't Familiar with - as you  travel to new places, locals may try to persuade you to try new recipes and delicacies. Don't be afraid to turn down foods you are skeptical of their preparation, ingredients and source.

Local cuisine are always exciting to try. However be mindful of potential food toxins, allergies and other contaminants that cause food poisoning.

A  good option is to try local foods prepared at quality restaurants rather then eating them from road side vendors.

11. Hand Washing

Most people hardly think of hand washing as a practice of healthy eating. A hand washing lifestyle reduces the transmission of feco-oral toxins and bacteria that cause food poisoning.

Wash your hands before every meal. Wash hands immediately after handling animals, after using the toilet and after handling objects and artifacts displayed by locals.

So there you have it, practical tips on how to eat healthy while travelling. Which of these tips do you plan to implement this festive season? We will love to hear your answers in the comment section below. You can get more touring tips from Dylan's Tours. Happy touring!

This is a guest blog entry.